On my first visit to Luxor, I had no idea where to start. There was so much to see and do, from ancient temples and burial sites to fascinating museums—including what would become my own personal favorite, the Mummification Museum. My travel companions and I ended up seeing a lot, thanks to our excellent local guide, but we also went with the flow and didn’t visit everything we wanted to. Fortunately, that was not my only trip to Luxor. And, on my second visit, I had a much clearer idea of what to see—and what to show my first-timer friends.
Now that I've thoroughly explored the area, here’s how I suggest approaching a 3-day trip to Luxor for first-time visitors.
To shield from the hot sun, wear loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves for modesty.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Luxor.
In the evening, take a sunset sail on the Nile River aboard a traditional Egyptian sailboat known as a felucca.
Wake up early on your second day for a hot air balloon ride over Luxor. Most launch right before sunrise so that you can get photos of key attractions illuminated by the early-morning light, and packages generally include transfers from your hotel to the launch area.
On your final day, take a day trip to Aswan, with stops along the way to visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu, Philae Temple, and Ptolemaic Kom Ombo Temple along the way. Many travelers opt to make the journey by boat, usually as part of a multi-day river cruise, but if you have only three days in Luxor, you’re better off taking a private day tour by car. This allows you to visit the temple complexes en route, Aswan High Dam, and the city of Aswan itself.